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Wimbles Oudoor Enclosure - Opinions Please.....


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#1 Reajen01

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 05:20 PM

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It is 4ft 9 by 4ft 2, easily extendable upwards for more depth and both length and width when he needs more space. It is resting on the weed control fabric, plus two layers of chicken wire, brought up around the external edges and held in place. The first layer of soil is from elsewhere in the garden and the top layer is bought top soil. The aerial photos don't really show the undulations in the surface but the deepest level is about 5 inches where it is built up. We did dig down, so the actual depth of the soil is deeper than the decking boards, with less attractive batons underground (we had them kicking about, waste not want not!) The space between ground level and the top of the boards is also 5 inches. Do folks think these dimensions, depths are ok or do we need to extend upwards to make the substrate deeper and escape proof the sides more?

Obviously these pictures are only the work in progress, the lid is the next job for tomorrow night, it will be double high to accommodate the height of the planting and accessories, hinged with hooks to keep it closed when we are not there to supervise.

I also have slate tiles, pebbles and various other bits to add, I just wanted to get the basics right first.

Also, aside from the enclosure, Wimble has gone from 30g to 27g in a week, we have the vets booked for his health check but I thought I'd mention it as he is so small. He is showing no signs of ill health whatsoever. How us newbies do worry!!!

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 03:56 AM

Hi,

It's looking good, you've made a great start with it. :) you might find the sides are not high enough as your plants start to grow they soon take hold and shoot up, I did mine with some height for this reason, i'll post a couple of pictures later today it might give you some ideas. :)

I think with some plants and plenty for him to climb over it's going to work well, you could maybe add some thing so he has some where to hide out of the sun if he wants too. :)

Just keep an eye on his weight it might be just with him settling in, they are a worry at 1st, a vet can't really tell you much just by looking at him, but it might be an idea to have a sample done to check for worms etc.

I look forward to seeing more pictures as you do the enclosure. :)



#3 Reajen01

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:45 AM

We have decided to raise the height with another layer of decking boards and add more top soil and gravel for drainage. I watered it last night to help it settled and it is still a bit too wet this morning, so hopefully that will help.

I have a hide and a small cloche to add also, plus other bits and bobs, so hopefully it will be quite an adventure playground by the time we have finished!

My next question, we have lots of pea gravel, is this ok to use to create an area within the enclosure, so he has different surfaces to experience? It might sound silly but I was concerned about him possibly eating it.

He is up and about this morning, basking, foraging, eating, repeating, so I am not concerned just yet. He was fed on cabbage, cucumber and tomatoes for about three days before I collected him and was not bathed, so I wondered if he has a lot of water on board. I am going to continue to weigh weekly for now, so I can keep a closer eye on things.

#4 Reajen01

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:46 AM

*had a lot of water on board, as in now he is being bathed and eating high fibre weeds, he has released his water. Hope that makes sense.

#5 mildredsmam

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 10:48 AM

Yes that makes sense, in mine I have limestone chippings, there not too small and work well, I also have sandstone rocks for them to climb over, if the pea gravel is quite small then I would be careful as they will try and eat bits. :)



#6 Reajen01

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 04:06 PM

I think I will get some larger gravel, I already have lots of pebbles ready to go, left over from landscaping.

Took delivery of the min/max thermometer today so it is positioned in the enclosure to start checking temps. Would you say that once it's all finished, he would be ok to leave outdoors until later in the year or just put him out for the day then bring him onto his table inside at night? I don't want to confuse the poor soul too much but we don't have a heated area in the outdoor enclosure yet. We have positioned the enclosure right next to where we intend to build a shed so longer term he will have an indoor heated area, just not yet.

Many thanks for your advice so far, it all helps to crystallise things in my mind!!

#7 wizzasmum

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 04:23 PM

I think I will get some larger gravel, I already have lots of pebbles ready to go, left over from landscaping.
Took delivery of the min/max thermometer today so it is positioned in the enclosure to start checking temps. Would you say that once it's all finished, he would be ok to leave outdoors until later in the year or just put him out for the day then bring him onto his table inside at night? I don't want to confuse the poor soul too much but we don't have a heated area in the outdoor enclosure yet. We have positioned the enclosure right next to where we intend to build a shed so longer term he will have an indoor heated area, just not yet.
Many thanks for your advice so far, it all helps to crystallise things in my mind!!


Yes be careful with pea gravel, some of mine eat it but being bigger torts it passes through ok. He can stay out full time but only if you gave back up heat for bad weather. Taking them in and out messes with their metabolism, so best to get electrics in if possible. At that size you could easily cover with Perspex for now but if you do that you must supplement daily to make up for lack of uvb

#8 Reajen01

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:00 PM

Thanks Sue. Would you cover the whole enclosure 24/7 or just at night?

#9 wizzasmum

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 08:18 PM

All day and night but only in bad weather. Don't cover on sunny days.

#10 Reajen01

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 01:12 PM

Fabulous thank you, we are going to make two lid, one mesh and one Perspex, do you think a full Perspex lid or half mesh? Thanks again, so many questions ☺️

#11 wizzasmum

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:01 PM

I would do full Perspex, then you can just place it at one end over the mesh one for in between weather ;)

#12 Reajen01

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 05:51 PM

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The plants are hebes, carex, London Pride, campanula and perennial geranium. I have offered him the London Pride, campanula and geranium to eat and he just nibbles, much preferring his weeds, so I am hoping he won't gorge on them.

I also sprinkled limestone flour in the planting holes and have since sprinkled a bit more just before I watered them all in.

My only slight worry is that the small slate chips may get too hot in the beating sun and I don't want him to burn his feet, is this a possibility? He has two water sources, the other one is a reptile water dish in the bottom right corner.

Lids are still under construction but he will be inside for a few more days anyway as he is having his faecal samples taken so I need to watch him closely (he normally toilets completely in his bath but I don't want to miss anything lol!)

Over night was 13*c and it is set to rise, so I am really hopeful he will be permanently outside by next week

#13 wizzasmum

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 08:31 PM

Just be prepared for him to trash it, so he gets it more natural looking lol

#14 Reajen01

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 09:02 PM

Lol Sue, yes, absolutely, this is NOT intended as a flower bed!!!




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